Quarantining Photographs

michaelalreadytakenOctober 30, 2006

Has anyone personally developed a system or found a software program that does a good job of quarantining photographs or managing the workflow?

Everything I try becomes clumsy when more than a few photos become involved.

I've found that if immediately download them all to a CD, rather than the hard drive that it raises the question of not immediately being able to save them to CD (without swapping disks continually) after editing them; obviously I don't want the edited "keepers" residing on the same CD that all the unedited shots are on. I will never feel comfortable batch editing or storing to a newly created folder because, ultimately, those folders need to be removed and I've already experienced the disaster of seeing hours of work destroyed through the inadvertent click of a mouse.

I don't trust any hard drive to store photographs forever; it's a delusion.

Paintshop insists on making copies of everything I try to permanently delete.

Picasa insists on cataloging the entire inventory, including those best forgotten, whether one wants it to or not; otherwise it has some NICE features for casual use.

Photoshop seems to have its own unique ways of being clumsy to use or maybe I just haven't found the magic feature that solves this problem.

I've tried "pre-selecting" those I want to transfer before editing but that isn't satisfactory either: photos that look bad in the thumbnail turn out to be great (or editable) and some that look great in the thumbnail turn out to be hopeless. The result is having to "entertain" them all.

If I create multiple new folders in Windows then I soon find out that I've gotten them confused or am pointing to the wrong one; I've tried using dates but that doesn't work well either once the inventory grows and memories of what was taken at any given point in time fade.

It just seems hard enough to crop and edit without having to spend a ton more time making sure the work is preserved.

I guess I just need a way to keep all the "unproven" ones totally and forever separated from the "proven" ones without any chance of them ever meeting or residing in the same place.



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Not exactly sure what your asking but I store what I have downloaded and edited on Pbase. Other than that everything I download from cameras goes to image zone and it keeps backups of all my albums seperate from Windows XP's my pictures

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 11:36AM
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I am daunted by all the pics I have on the computer and my idea is to put the mega different albums on discs - discs are ready to go, cant seem to find the time to organized them enough to have them disc ready. But have to do it.

After frustrating moments with Photshop and another program (the name fails me) I now use Irfanview and have been really happy with it.
Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:21PM
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Susan Serra

Until I find something better, I use Acdsee for cataloging and after I select an image from acdsee, I right click on the image and select "edit" and it will immediately either open up photoshop, and/or send the image to photoshop for further editing. Very seamless.

My rose images are in main folders (austins, OGRs, hybrid teas, etc. etc. and then in subfolders....abraham darby, scepter'd isle, tamora and all images of a named rose, whether the image is good, bad or indifferent, will go in the rose that it is "named" after. all tamoras go in tamora, all abes go in abe folder, etc. etc.

I have a separate drive just for images.

I also have folders of "garden layout" with sub folders of every month/year. Now I have 5 folders of June 2002 June 2003 June 2004, etc. so I can see what happened in June and in what year.

I have another folder such as "Garden Scenes" and subfolders are" bench, fountains, whatever, because "scenes" are different than the layout, which is different from an individual rose. That's the gist of what I do.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:50PM
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tandaina(WA (8))

First I am not my photos. If I loose them, I loose them. It doesn't end the world. Even if I loose every photo I've ever taken I'll take more. ;) There is no such thing, especially in this digital age, as "safe".

That said.

I download my images from my memory media to my computer's hard drive. The images are in Minolta RAW format at this point. If they are important I burn the whole set to DVD for safe keeping.

Then I review the initial images with my RAW editing software and make basic dark room fixes there. (push or pull the exposure, fix white balance, etc.)

That software converts each image I choose into a format Photoshop can read. I am now done with my RAW images. I then open the chosen images in Photoshop and apply filters, airbrush out blemishes or unsightly elements, crop, whatever.

These are then saved as JPEGs (STILL FULL SIZE) and uploaded to Smugmug which will present the "web friendly" resizes for me. I have NOT reduced image quality.

I can then clean all images off my hard drive. Done, back to a nice clean dark room. I manage my digital dark room the same way I would a physical one. (I'm also a neat freak and do NOT leave clutter laying around. Digital or otherwise.)

All my print worthy images go to smugmug. Most are displayed for the world to see (the small resizes, original printing size files are not available to the public thanks very much). They are safely backed up and managed by smugmug. If I need to have one printed (I don't use smugmug their printing is NOT pro quality) I download the original image and mail it to my printer. They print it. The downloaded file is discardable.

I'm not attached to my images. I take thousands and thousands of images a year. The fraction I consider good enough to print/frame get stored on smugmug. The rest get burned (in raw unedited format) to DVD if I ever want to retrieve them. Most of my play images (garden, walks, scenery do NOT get backed up. Portraits and such do.)

But all editing is done with disposable files. Editing and dark room work can be redone easily. I don't bother storing that stuff. Its like the old dark room days. I keep the negatives. I can reproduce the final prints with all the primping and fussing if I have to, so I don't bother with them. Only the negatives are necessary.

(Note I have NEVER gone back to those DVDs. My smugmug images get downloaded, printed, etc quite often but my DVD backup of "negatives" never gets touched.)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 2:19PM
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I guess we all have a system of how we manage our photos. I have a photo folder in windows and I create folders and save by monthyear. I also have a hold area where all photos taken are first moved off the photo card and then I do a cursory look to see what photos I will keep or delete, from there I cut and paste these to the appropriate monthdate folder and delete the images on the photo card so it can be returned to the camera.

Under each of the monthdate folders I have a folder for web and photos. This is where I store all images as jpg once I have run them through Photoshop for any additional corrections, cropping or whatever else I want to do and let's me know how they have been sized for use. The originals remain in the main monthdate folder.

Another thing I do as I have time that month is to use a text editor to record the photo number and what the photo is and store it by monthdate. I normally move these pictures at the end of the year to disk but you could do it every 3/6/12 months based on how many photos you take and how often you want your stuff backed up.

Great thread.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 2:56PM
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I pretty well have mine in folders/albums like Susan. I keep my "Roses" folder on my desk top, as always referring to it or adding new material. Within that folder are individual folders of my specific roses starting with "Abe"

Also a folder on "Garden" with several folders in side of it, eg "Front Garden", "Back Garden", "Flower Arranging", "Wildlife"etc.

Also lots of folders in "My pictures" Most all of them need fine tuning. I find it all mind boggling - must curb taking pics for a while. :)

But I did loose a folder of some of my best pictures because of a stupid mistake - and I, was very upset - Hmmmm! gotta get some burning done.

Orchid, I have to admit I really like your idea it sounds a lot more simple than the method I am using. It is funny how this subject really tells a tale of what we are really like - I do tend to have a problem of letting go of personal things, and I guess it makes life more complicated in the end.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 7:44PM
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Years ago I found that simply saving pics didn't work for me. When I take garden pics, I take a photo of the calendar date, so that when I have time to rename pics, I can add the date to the name. From here, newer photos go into my spring folder in my documents. If I'm lazy, it will have a dated subfolder until I can rename. If I'm feeling motivated, all pics go into seperate folders at this point, roses, garden, clematis, family. During the winter months i then clean up, I have a folder called Needs to go to zipdisk, then move everything into it's folder there. Family gets divided by people or events.

I have a 750 zip drive, most won't even own one today but it's the best most reliable storage I've ever found. I've yet to have a disk go bad on me.

I have 7+ computers in my house. I run 3 hard drives in my computer - also run "My documents" off of a 2nd drive instead of the main in case it goes down. My 160 gig gets backed up to a 200 gig, and soon I will have a 500 gig drive to back everything up once again. If I lose something, it won't be much.

CD's or DVD's - not for me. I don't trust them.

And honestly, since I've bought the hard drives, I haven't backed up to 750 zip due to lack of time. I'll eventually store them in a fire proof safe.

I have a lot of photo programs, I also have a few downloaded that i want to try to see if they will do everything I need to do easily. One claims to correct and rename in one shot - also catalogs if i so choose. Have to get my server running 1st before I can do any of this.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 8:53AM
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the input(s).


    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 9:41PM
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